Download Tennyson's Scepticism by Aidan Day PDF
By Aidan Day
Aidan Day rereads Tennyson's early minor and later significant works within the gentle of the poet's perceived skepticism. Drawing largely on unique manuscript drafts, Day presents shut readings of works together with In Memoriam, Maud, and The Lover's story.
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Is born anew’ (31). The laws of natural process and temporal succession are suspended. In this image of renewal, which involves a conflation of the several stages of the seasonal cycle, decay and death have no reality as states distinguishable from birth. An unnatural and ahistorical perspective is established in which the Garden is seen as existing in the perpetual luxury of springtime. This is an equivalent of the condition of life 26 Tennyson’s Scepticism found in the Hesperidean Gardens of Milton’s Attendant Spirit in Comus, those ‘happy climes’ situated in the ‘broad fields of the sky’ (976, 978), where The Graces, and the rosy-bosomed Hours, Thither all their bounties bring, That there eternal summer dwells .
Like Hallam, following Wordsworth, Tennyson makes an identification in ‘Timbuctoo’ of the Western Isles of the Blest with the sphere of the imagination. This identification in ‘Timbuctoo’ directs us to the Romantic possibilities of meaning in Tennyson’s symbolic geography of West and East in ‘The Hesperides’. In ‘Timbuctoo’ the ‘Thrones of the Western wave’ are associated with an image of the organic life of the ‘vine of Fable’ which provides a refuge for man (at least until the closing lines of the poem) amid its ‘complicated glooms, / And cool impleachèd twilights’ (223–24).
Fruit’). But whatever the mariners may have wished to believe, the narrative voice is quite clear that all was not as it may have seemed. Rather than and, the voice says ‘but whoso did receive of them . ’ and so, alerted by this qualifying preposition, we are prepared for what the voice knows to have been an experience more properly characterised in terms of loss, madness, alienation, impoverishment, and death (‘mourn . . rave . . alien . . thin . . grave’). Whatever acquaintance the narrative voice may have had with the lotos-eating life, and however much it may demonstrate that acquaintance in the prologue, it is clear that lotos-intoxication does not constitute its present condition.